Functional medicine was invented by chemist Jeffrey Bland. He and Susan Bland founded the Institute for Functional Medicine in 1991 as a division of HealthComm. That year, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said that Jeffrey Bland's corporations HealthComm and Nu-Day Enterprises had falsely advanced claims that their products could alter metabolism and induce weight loss. The FTC found that Bland and his companies violated that consent order in 1995 by making more exaggerated claims. The UltraClear dietary program was said to provide relief from gastrointestinal problems, inflammatory and immunologic problems, fatigue, food allergies, mercury exposure, kidney disorders, and rheumatoid arthritis. The companies were forced to pay a $45,000 civil penalty.
Naturopathic practitioner and founder of Bastyr University, Joseph Pizzorno, sits on the board of directors of IFM.